Chapter 2: The Dragon Stone
Link watched as the two horses grew from small dots on the horizon to abnormally tall riding beasts. He recognized them immediately, and stood up from his chair, spilling the contents of the box on his lap onto the floor. Link stooped down and picked up the objects he had dropped, feeling his cheeks burn with embarrassment. In the box were two things, which he had bought for his friends not long ago.
One was for Frat, a silver dagger, the hilt made of heavy pewter and inlaid with opals, which were his birthstone. It was shaped like a Dragons head, the mouth wide, full of sharp teeth, breathing a line of red dyed crystal shaped as flames down the blade. The dagger was more for show than anything, but could be used as a weapon as well.
The other was for Sora, something that had caught his eye in the dim light of the setting sun. The last trader had just arrived, a scruby old man, with a patch over his right eye, long, raggy white hair, an ugly black bird sitting on his shoulder and a slight limp in his walk. His cart had been full of mostly old junk, stuff that wasn't very useful looking. This had been a ruby in a sea of rhinestones. The old man had chuckled when Link had eyed it and held it up for Link to see better, letting the light sparkled off of it.
It was a Dragon pendant, shaped of jade, with rubies set in its wise face as eyes. The Dragon clutched a small drop of water, made of sapphire, in its long, sharp jade claws. The old silver chain would need to be replaced, for it was badly in disrepair, the tarnish wearing thin. The old man had smiled at him, revealing green, slimy teeth, and handed it to him. "A real beauty that is." The old man had rasped. "Magic, it is." Link had looked skeptical, but he wanted it anyway. It was perfect for Sora, not a girlish piece of jewelry, but a warrior's icon.
The old man had only charged him ten rupees for the pendant, although Link was willing to pay a lot more for it. It radiated an odd warmth and did indeed give him a feeling of magic, ancient magic, powerful magic. Link had gone home after the trade and sent Poonta to find the right chain for it, knowing only she could do so. When she had brought home the new chain, silver and sparkling, as the pendant did, Link had been very pleased. He owed his friends a lot, they had always been there for him, and they had saved his life more than once. They had helped rescue him from the clutches of two evil Fay, Kyrissam and Faylah.
All Link could do when the travelers drew nearer was sit on his thrown on the balcony, waiting for the guards to make sure the travelers were friends. Link knew they were, but the people in his castle rarely listened to him, calling him a little boy. Maybe Sora and Frat could help him with this problem. They were always good at working up schemes and escapes. Link smiled as he watched the animals stop at the gate.
The guard jumped back, startled, and allowed the passage, bowing an apology. Link grinned and jumped off his chair, unable to sit still any longer. Even if he was king, he had very little patience and he ached to see his friends again. Link walked down the halls as fast as he could, reaching the Castle Bridge in time to see Frat and Sora leading their horses to the stable. They both had hooded clocks covering them from head to toe.
They turned to him and beckoned him over to them. Link shook his head; he was no longer allowed off the Castle grounds unless he was accompanied. Sora tossed back her hood, laughing, and Link was a little startled by her appearance. She was dressed in a short sleeved traveling tunic of blue silk, underneath it a short sleeved shirt, breeches and a pair of boots, like he was accustomed to seeing her wear. But he hair was longer, spilling down nearly to the middle of her back now, her skin was ivory, her cheeks slightly pink from excitement. Yes, she had definitely gotten prettier in the last year.
Poonta walked out of the castle behind him and slapped him on the back. She took the horses from Sora and Frat, said something to them that Link couldn't hear, and then walked away to the stables. Frat and Sora approached him, Frat tossing back his hood as Sora had done.
"Hello there, Link." Frat said, shaking his hand.
Sora hugged him tightly and Link pushed her away, shaking his head. "Sorry, Sora. I'm getting a little to old for that sort of thing."
"Ooo…I'm sorry Your Majesty." Sora said, sarcastically. "I didn't mean to offend you."
"Sora!" Frat hissed, elbowing her in the ribs lightly.
Link laughed. "It's okay. Sora just doesn't know any manners yet. Isn't that right, short stuff?"
Sora crossed her arms and glared at him, fury rising inside her. She announced that she was going to visit Oliana and Isannah and stomped off in that direction. Frat raised an eyebrow and gave Link a questioning look. Link laughed again and motioned for Frat to follow him.
Link led Frat down the long, twisting corridors to his own chambers. The guard at the door moved to one side to let Link and Frat pass. Link shut the door so no one could come in and pointed to a comfortable looking chair in a lighter corner where Frat was to sit. He went into his sleeping room, retrieved the box, and brought it back to where Frat was siting.
"I needed to get rid of Sora." Link explained when he had sat down in a chair across from Frat. "I wanted to give you something, plus I need your opinion on something."
"Okay." Frat said. "So what exactly is in that box? I'm guessing it's the stuff you were talking about?"
Link nodded and opened the box. He pulled out the dagger intended for Frat and handed it to him. Frat's eyes widened when he saw it and he took it from Link very carefully. He turned it over in his hands, studying it with a practiced eye, knowing it was valuable from all the time he had spent learning about the family heirlooms and what not. Frat ran his fingers over the opals set deep in the hilt and Link smiled up at him.
"I knew you'd like it." Link said, triumphantly.
"Are you telling me what I think you're telling me?" Frat asked, his voice full of disbelief.
Link chuckled. "Yes, I am."
"Wow…" Frat murmured. "Oh come on! You have to be kidding me!"
"You'd think after some of the things you've seen, Frat, you'd be able to believe anything." Link said, grinning.
"Yes I know." Link laughed. "Your welcome."
Frat frowned. "What about Sora? She's saved you life more than I have."
Link nodded and reached into the box again. He pulled out the pendant he had got for Sora and held it up in the candlelight. The sapphire that the dragon clutched caught the light, shining brighter than it should have. Frat reached out and took the pendant and the light disappeared completely.
"Where did you find this?" Frat asked. "It looks ancient…especially that stone."
"Yeah." Link agreed. "Hey you know about stuff like this. Is that stone sapphire?"
"It looks like it." Frat said. "But I don't think it is. I can't explain it."
"Do you think Sora will like it?" Link asked.
Frat looked up. "Of course! Sora loves Dragons. She says she wants to meet a real one."
"Dragons aren't real." Link protested.
Frat just shook his head and handed the pendant back to Link. The boys stood up and put the top back on the box. They blew out the candles in Link's room and walked out, nodding to the guard in the hall and started for the rooms Oliana, Poonta and Isannah shared.
Sora sat on Oliana's bed with her friends, chatting happily when the door was flung open and an angry young girl stepped it. She was beautiful, with copper hair that flowed and waved its way down to her knees, big blue eyes with long thick eye lashes, high cheek bones and a high, full, bosom, which many of the men in court found very attractive. She wore a gown of red satin, embroidered in gold, the skirt sweeping to her ankles, revealing matching slippers. The sleeves were dagged; the low swooping collar lined with gold stitching.
"Oliana, I am so sick of your little pets!" The girl shouted, her cheeks flushing in anger. A small puppy ran in and jumped on the bed.
"Luke!" Isannah cried, hugging the puppy. "Did that mean old Roxanna throw stone at you again?"
Oliana jumped to her feet. "It's just an innocent little puppy, Roxanna! Leave it alone! As a matter of fact, leave us alone while you're at it!
"Oliana you're so unladylike! I am so sick of…" Roxanna stopped, her eyes on Sora. "Who is this? Taking in orphans now too, Oliana?"
"Watch the way you speak to me." Sora stood up, narrowing her eyes. "I am Sorella C'Dessa, Princess of Dragon Rock Castle. You do not have high enough status to speak to me thus."
"You?" The girl laughed. "You're no Princess! You're just a little street rat!"
"Roxanna!" Link yelled, storming into the room. "Get out now!"
"Link!" Roxanna cried, startled. "Oh Link, silly Oliana is inviting peasants into the castle. Can you believe the nerve?"
"This 'peasant', as you call her, is my friend Sora." Link retorted. "She and her brother are honored guest in this castle. How dare you treat them so cruelly!"
"I-I am sorry, Y-your Highness." Roxanna stammered. "I didn't know! Honest, I didn't!"
Roxanna ran out of the room, sobbing loudly. Link flopped down on the bed and sighed, his head throbbing painfully. Frat entered the room the next moment and flashed Oliana his most charming smile. Sora rolled her eyes and sat down on the bed next to Link, taking his hand in her own and giving it a friendly squeeze. Link opened his eyes and smiled.
"And how are you, Your Highness?" Sora asked, her eyes bright with fun.
"I'm wandering in a living Hell." Link muttered. "I don't know how much more of this I can take."
"Hang in there." Sora said softly. "We're here to help! Sora and Frat to the rescue!" Sora grinned, then added. "As usual."
"How have you been, while we've been gone?" Frat asked, putting an arm around Oliana's shoulders and smiling at her. Oliana blushed and looked away.
"We've been all right." Poonta answered. "Time are tough, especially with Roxanna here now."
"What about you?" Link asked. "Been on any new adventures?"
"Yes, as a matter of fact." Sora said. "Me and Frat stopped an old sorcerer from killing Princess Cattily."
"That's right." Frat agreed. "Unfortunately, we also cost them a lot of money in damage."
"Yeah. So to pay for it, Cattily's parents called off the marriage we had arrange for her and Frat." Sora finished. "But that's okay. Cattily is kind of dumb, she only likes Frat for his looks."
"I know how he feels." Link muttered. "Oh, by the way, I have something for you Sora."
Sora grinned. "Please tell me it's not a harp."
"That was an accident you know." Frat said, glaring at his sister. "I didn't know mom and dad were getting you one too."
"No it's not a harp." Link said, laughing.
Link handed her the box carefully. Sora took it, eyeing him suspiciously, and lifted the lid. Her eyes widened when she saw the contents of the box. Sora lifted the pendant out of the box, hearing a few soft gasps around her and ignoring them. She studied the Dragon and the stone I clutched in its claws.
Suddenly a vision flashed before Sora's eyes. She saw peace and harmony, people doing their daily work while watching their children play. And then something took this pendant…no the stone it held, away from them and all hell broke loose. The pendant grew warm, sending heat up the chain and Sora yelped and dropped it.
"That thing is cursed!" Sora shouted as she jumped to her feet. "That…that belongs to someone! Not to us! Not to anyone but the people who it was first given too."
Link frowned, his eyes showing hurt. "What do you mean?"
"I-I'm not sure." Sora stammered. "I don't understand this. Something is wrong with that pendant. It's not normal!"
"Oh…" Link said softly. "I still don't get it."
"I don't really either." Sora said, sitting down far away from the pendant. Link reached out and picked it up. Nothing happened.
"It seems fine to me." Link said. "You have a pretty active imagination Sora. Here."
Link handed her the pendant again, but Sora refused to take it. She scooted across the floor as Link moved closer to her. She quickly backed into the wall and covered her face with her arm, refusing to even look at the pendant.
"Link, leave her alone!" Frat commanded.
Link sat back on his heels. "I don't understand. It didn't bother you, Frat."
"No." Frat agreed. "It didn't. But Sora is probably more sensitive to that memory stuff. Look at what she's been through."
"Get that away from me." Sora growled.
Link stood and put the pendant back in the box. "There."
"Thanks." Sora sighed in relief and uncurled her limbs, but stayed up against the wall.
"Well it looks like we're going to get into another adventure." Frat commented dryly.
"Yeah, to the old library to find out what this is." Link agreed.
"I'm going for a ride." Sora said, pushing to her feet. "I need to clear my mind."
"Make sure you're back in time to get ready for dinner tonight." Link called after her.
"Is it formal?" Sora asked.
Sora went back to her rooms and changed into gear better suited to her riding. She put on a shirt and breeches as usual, with a pair of shorter boots, and a tunic made of purple velvet. <I>Might as well impress some people,</I> Sora thought, tucking her dagger into its sheath on her belt. She tossed a light cotton cloak over her shoulders and ducked out into the hall.
Already the sun was beginning to set, slowly lowering itself behind the hills. Sora knew she had very little time to ride before she had to come in to get ready for dinner. As much as she hated to dress up, she wanted to wear something that would make that stuck up Roxanna very jealous. <I>I could do it too,</I> Sora thought, smiling. <I>I could, but I want to prove that I'm a better person than she is.</I>
When Sora reached the outside Robin was waiting, as if he'd read her mind. She knew though, that Poonta had put him out there for her. She gripped a lock of his silky red mane in her fingers and vaulted into the saddle. Normally she would prefer to ride without any tack whatsoever, but here she was royalty, and everyone expected her to do so. It was bad enough she didn't wear skirts and ride sidesaddle. Princess weren't supposed to ride astride the horse. But Sora didn't care, she only used tack to make sure no one got the wrong impression.
Robin snorted and tossed his head, sending his mane spraying in all directions. Sora laughed and threw her had back to avoid the stinging strands. The wind picked up, ruffling Sora's hair and cooling the back of her neck. Outside, away from that cursed pendant, Sora felt safe and out home. Out here there were no laws, no rules, nothing was taboo. She could be how she wanted and whom she wanted, and no one would give her any problems.
The grass on Hyrule Field was long, but trampled down in most places from usage. Sora and Robin walked along in complete silence, save for Sora' soft humming. The big horse picked his way along gracefully, avoiding small animals hiding in the grass. A few birds chirped greetings to the pair as they flew back to their nests for the night.
They had been outside only half an hour when the rain began to fall. Sora sighed and turned Robing, heading him for home. She urged him into a trot to get there faster. <I>I'll be soaked by the time we get home!</I> Sora thought. <I>Link is not going to like this one bit. I just know he wants me to show up Roxanna.</I> Robing snorted and picked up a canter, but Sora held him at a slow pace, because she didn't want him to slip.
Frat, Link and Poonta were waiting when they reached the castle. Both Frat and Link gave her disapproving looks, which Sora ignored. She swung down out of the saddle and handed the reins to Poonta, who led Robin off to the stables. Sora hated letting someone else take care of her own horse, but she ignored that too. She pushed past her brother and Link and walked into the dry, warm castle.
"Sora!" Link called, running up behind her. "Sora wait up!"
"What?" Sora asked, stopping and standing with her hands on her hips.
"I don't know." Link panted. "Frat told me to catch you."
At that moment Frat strode up. "Hey Sora…remember how we handled Cattily's parents when they didn't think we were good enough to be in their family?"
"I remember." Sora said.
"Well…let's do that again, shall we?"
Flynn was still curled up in the chair hours later, leaning over the book and reading deeply. It was filled with so many interesting facts about the outside world. Flynn had never known that the world above ground had been so badly plagued by war, famine and poverty. He had always been told the people of the world above were peaceful good doers and never went to war, no matter what. This book told him differently, it told him of a bloody past, a history of greed, murder and treachery.
Of course, not even this book could prepare him for what lay ahead. This book only told about history, and gave him some idea as to what to expect. He knew the world was at peace mostly, and no one was expecting him. Flynn set the book on the floor and picked up another one, one that was thicker. He would need an item of power, something that would help him in his quest. This book would give him whole listings of such items, what they did, and where he might be able to find them.
Flynn sipped at his mug of ale as he flipped through the pages of the book and picked at the male of dry, salted meat, cheese and bread as he studied each object. So far none of them were what he was looking for. He needed away to draw power from an energetic person, to help him with what he planned to do. Finally Flynn came along an object that caught his interest and read deeply about it.
<I>The Dragon Stone, one of the worlds most powerful focusing objects,
affects only people sensitive to its power. Most of these people are
female only, who are powerful in psychic or telepathic powers. With
it you can draw energy from them, to do such things as raise the dead.</I>
Flynn paused, thoughtful. Raising the dead was something he had never considered. He had also not considered that he might have to deal with females. Mona was one thing, but she wasn't Fay. The Fay females were hostile and mean, and they didn't like him, although they would mind sharing a bed with him. They liked his looks, but his height made them scornful. He didn't know what females in Hyrule would be like. Flynn shrugged and continued reading.
<I>The Dragons Stone is named for the jade Dragon in whose claws
it is clutched. The actual stone resembles a sapphire, and is really
small to begin with. As it collects energy, it grows in size and power.
When the Stone chooses its Power Field, which is the person it holds
power over, it draws energy from that person when ever other energy
cannot be provided for it. It uses that person to do its bidding, and if the
Power Field refuses to work for it, it draws its energy from the Field
The Dragon Stone is not hard to find, nor is the Power Field. Where
ever one is, the other can't be far behind. The Stone is always in the
place where you would not expect it to be, but where you will be
Flynn smiled, thinking, <I>I'm planning to go to Hyrule Castle to get my revenge there. That must be what the book means.</I> There was no more on the Stone after that last little bit. Flynn shut the book and placed it back on the floor with the others. He stood and stretched out, his muscles aching from being curled up in the chair all night. Most of the food was gone and the bit of ale he hadn't drunk had gotten warm and stale.
Flynn blew out the candles blazing in his room and stripped down to his breeches. Time ran differently in Faylinn than in the other world, so he had time to sleep. Flynn crawled under his fur blankets and cuddled in them, his body relaxing at the feel of the soft mattress. His revenge would be remembered throughout the history of his people.
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